R.E.M., Death Cab, Boots Riley help launch artists' campaign for net neutrality

[Future of Music Coalition announcement]

R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Boots Riley of The Coup and many other musicians and independent record labels are joining a nationwide campaign to recruit thousands of artists to support the fight for net neutrality. "Rock the Net" is being organized by the Future of Music Coalition, Noise Pop, and Zeitgeist Artist Management.

"Four years ago we got 4,000 musicians to sign on to the battle against radio consolidation. With Rock the Net, we intend to get thousands of the nation's musicians, independent labels and music services to become part of the effort to keep a 'payola' system from being established on the Internet," said Jenny Toomey, executive director of the Future of Music Coalition. "This will be the largest coalition of musicians for net neutrality in the country."

Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., will be a featured speaker at the kick-off teleconference for Rock the Net on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 11 a.m. Markey is Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and a long-time champion of net neutrality. Markey will be joined by musician Ted Leo, CD Baby founder Derek Sivers, Future of Music Coalition Executive Director Jenny Toomey, Future of Music Coalition Policy Director Michael Bracy and others. Press Conference details are listed below. Please R.S.V.P.

There are more than two-dozen founding members of the Rock the Net campaign including the Kronos Quartet, Sarah McLachlan, The Wrens, OK Go, Death Cab for Cutie and the Barenaked Ladies. Rock the Net will launch a website on March 27 that will allow other musicians, independent record labels and music fans to sign onto the campaign and take action to support net neutrality. Bands and fans will also be able to track Rock the Net events around the country with an interactive map.

Net neutrality is the idea that all websites and services should be equally accessible on the Internet. Some Internet service providers have proposed charging a fee to Internet content providers to make their sites load faster. Rock the Net believes such a move could make it harder for fans to access the vibrant array of musical offerings now available online. A position paper on net neutrality is available on the Rock the Net web site.

Here's a complete list of Rock the Net's founding bands:

R.E.M.
Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam)
Ted Leo
Boots Riley
Barenaked Ladies
Sarah McLachlan
Death Cab for Cutie
OK Go
Bob Mould
Calexico
Kathleen Hanna
The Donnas
Jerry Harrison
John Doe
Les Claypool
Kronos Quartet
Jimmy Tamborello
Street to Nowhere
The Locust
Rogue Wave
Guster
State Radio
Matt Wertz
Griffin House
Matt Nathanson
The Wrens

article originally published at http://www.futureofmusic.org/rockthenet.

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